While many hyped Canadian bands hopped a southbound express train over the past few years, Tangiers couldn’t find a seat. Critical accolades praised the group’s jangly party anthems, but the band continued to play gigs to sparse audiences and sold few records. Their booze-fueled performances often exploded on stage, but the band imploded thanks to interpersonal tension, and two members threw in the towel after a 2003 tour. The departures marked a major change in the group, but not the band’s death. Josh Reichmann (vocals/guitars) and James Sayce (vocals/guitars) resuscitated Tangiers, adding Ex-Guided by Voices drummer Jon McCann and keyboardist Shelton Deverell to the lineup.
Family Myth, the group’s third full-length and the current lineup’s second, might be that hoped-for boarding pass, and a far cry from their original boozy dirges. The The band plays with a restrained, calculated energy, mixing glossy pop sentimentalities with dark, moody punk, almost like the Fall trudging through a hungover, sleep-deprived, Sunday morning gig. Reichmann and Sayce’s vocals lilt lazily on each track, and their guitars dissonantly drone, except when catchy licks occasionally rise to the surface, like on the album’s punchy title track. Deverell’s keyboard work is ominous and haunting on “I Suggest a Crypt,” and adds a playful texture to “That Russian Bastard.” McCann’s drums are meticulously crafted and explosive, adding a stiff backbone to the lurching tunes. The Tangiers’ Family Myth hit record stores on October 18. The band is currently touring Canada in support of the album, but they’ll swing south of the border this December to play a brief stint in the Northeast. The American leg of their tour kicks off in January. Tangiers tour dates:
12/05, New York, NY (Knitting Factory) 12/06, Williamsburg, NY (Warsaw)12/07, Asbury, NJ (Stone Pony)12/08, Washington, DC (Black Cat)12/10, Providence, RI (The Living Room)12/11, Boston, MA (Middle East)12/12, Philadelphia, PA (Theatre of Living Arts)